The Duke Heist (The Wild Wynchesters #1)
By Erica Ridley
Originally Published February 9th, 2021
Dual POV, Third Person
This book was a fun read with an unruly, exuberant cast of characters. More diverse and inclusive than most Historical Romance tends to be, Erica Ridley has written the start to a series that promises lots of ridiculousness, heists, and soft romance.
I didn't find this book dark, even with a couple of backstories being bleak at times. It's a very light-hearted book with mostly unbelievable feats from each of the Wynchesters considering the time period, but the mismatched family of orphans is what truly makes the book so the incredulity is easily suspended.
Chloe infiltrates the townhouse of Duke Faircliffe in the search of her family's painting, stolen by his late father. She plays the helpless and uneducated lady asking the Duke for guidance to find a suitable husband, but really all she's looking for is the beloved art. Faircliffe is so easy to believe that she, an orphan adopted by a man with a title and therefore still beneath him in every way, is a helpless lamb. Forced to help her, he tries his best to guide her, but then his prejudices turn to affection and respect, with a large dose of humility. Chloe doesn't want to keep lying to him about who she truly is, but there's no chance at a future...
The romance between our h/H turned out to be enemies-to-lovers in only words. This romance is a slow and careful thing. In reality, this book was about finding a family more so than love. Scandalous at times, for sure, but respectful and tender overall. I expected an alpha Duke, but got a sensitive and careful man intent on making up for his father's crimes and willing to acknowledge his own mistakes. Chloe is a strong girl scared of being abandoned, loyal to her found-family of orphans. It was darling, these two coming together, along with some humorous moments woven throughout. It's a bit slow, overall, and a lot of time is given to the h/H's relationship developing, but with such a fun cast and easy writing, I recommend adding this one to your list!